NFL Picks: Minnesota Vikings Win Totals & Game-by-Game Predictions

Nikki Adams

Thursday, June 4, 2015 5:54 PM GMT

Thursday, Jun. 4, 2015 5:54 PM GMT

Vegas Odds makers have rolled out a modest Season Win Total mark for the Minnesota Vikings in 2015. Will the Vikings crack the 7.5 win total mark and emerge as the breakout NFL pick? Here's our game-by-game analysis of their NFL schedule.

Minnesota Vikings Brutal Schedule
Vegas Odds makers opened with a 7 season win total for the Minnesota Vikings, but the number has since moved up to 7.5 at Bovada, with the OVER and UNDER trading on par at -115 NFL odds. Clearly, the Vikings could fall on either side of this total set by odds makers according to the NFL odds. However, we're of the mind they'll go under because they have – let's face it – a brutal NFL schedule, amongst other concerns.

Teddy Bridgewater impressed in his rookie season and many NFL experts expect a bright future for the young lad in the NFL. That he led the Vikings to a 7-9 SU start without the renowned Adrian Peterson at his disposal is a minor miracle. That said, they had the 21st toughest schedule last season, which only boasted a winning percentage of 0.477.

It's worth mentioning that we did boldly predicted the Vikings would crack the 6.5 season win total odds makers served up in 2014. We also predicted a 7-9 SU record exactly. As a result, that NFL pick (to take the OVER 6.5 at +110) was happily a winner at the cash window.   

Although we did get it right last year, it's clear that by the NFL odds, which favored the UNDER 6.5 for 2014, the Vikings played over their heads. And that's what is so concerning going into this coming season. If they had a much easier NFL schedule last season and odds makers chalked the line at 6.5 how does a decidedly tougher NFL schedule in 2015 warrant a 7.5 win total? What evidence is there that the Vikings will perform above 7.5? Adrian Peterson is great but how is he going to feel about playing for an organisation that threw him under the bus, so to speak. Besides, will he still be there? Who's to say they won't trade him just before the season gets underway. If he is, he can't do it alone. And without him, the Vikings are but a young, developing team, led by a second-year quarterback. They may be headed in the right direction, but they aren't sure to reach the desired destination by 2015.

 

NFL 2015 Schedule Is A Nightmare
This season the Vikings have received no favors from the NFL schedulers however. It's bad enough they are contained in a tough NFC North group with the tandem of Green Bay and Detroit, and to a lesser extent Chicago. To have drawn the NFC West and a crossover with the AFC West is to draw the proverbial short straw. In strength of NFL schedule, the Vikings have the 11th toughest rota in the NFL with a 0.549 winning percentage. That's quite the few ladder rungs up from last year. If you want to get to the nitty-gritty of it all, Football Outsiders' DVOA rankings reckons the Vikings have THE toughest schedule.

To repeat: How odds makers can expect the Vikings to crack a 7.5 season win total therefore beggars belief. Seven games are against last season's playoff contenders (four of which are against the divisional tandem of Green Bay and Detroit) and ten games are against teams that finished .500 or higher last season. What's more, 12 games will pit second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against established veterans in the game and elitist quarterbacks.  

As it is, they open with an exceptionally intimidating four-game stretch that includes San Francisco, Detroit, San Diego and Denver (yikes) before a week 5 Bye. Then a 12-game stretch looms, which includes a challenging Thanksgiving date with Arizona on the road and finishes with a trip to Lambeau where Aaron Rodgers mercilessly laid to waste all visitors last season.

Put it this way, if Teddy Bridgewater can lead the Vikings to an 8-8 season or higher at the expense of the field of opposition they are slated to play as the Vegas Season Win Total Odds suggest, then hats off to the young gun. We'll be suitably impressed. Until then, forgive the scepticism.

On that note, here are our way too early game-by-game predictions for the Vikings, complete with our final NFL betting verdict and NFL picks for the season win totals.

 

Week 1: vs. San Francisco (road), Monday, Sept 14 at 10:20 PM 
Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings open on the road at the Levi's Stadium on Monday Primetime Football, a decidedly late start for fans back home. The Niners may be a team in transition, but that makes this trip no less challenging. The Niners still have a lot of firepower and as much, if not more, talent than the Vikings. After all, Colin Kaepernick took the 49ers to the SuperBowl a few years back. Home edge and a Niners side bursting to atone to their fans for the missteps of last season makes for a difficult road win.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 0-1

 

Week 2: vs. Detroit (home), Sunday, Sept 20 at 1 PM
A divisional rivalry to kick start the season at home presents another challenge for the young Vikings on the NFL schedule in week 2. What's more, it's a short week following a long trek from the West Coast. The Lions are coming off a stellar 11-5 SU season, in which they almost finished in the top spot only for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to wrestle it from their grasp. The Lions enter 2015 amidst high expectations and they are slated to be a team to be reckoned with in the NFC North at the very least. They also still figure to have a tough defense even without Ndamukong Suh. Let's not forget the tandem of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. This matchup, so early in the season, doesn't bode well for the Vikings, even with home advantage.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 0-2

 

Week 3: vs. San Diego (home), Sunday, Sept 27 at 1 PM
A second straight home game, a third straight .500 or better team from 2014 on the NFL schedule. Oh and a third straight solid quarterback calling the shots while staring down the Vikings. This game hangs in the balance: is Philip Rivers going to resign with the Chargers? Will Adrian Peterson be playing for the Vikings? There are several question marks that hang over this matchup, but assuming the status quo remains as is, the Chargers still have the edge in this one. They don't make a habit of losing to teams they should be beating and the Vikings are a team one expects Rivers to overcome.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 0-3

 

Week 4: vs. Denver (road), Sunday, Oct 4 at 4:05 PM
A fourth straight heavyweight on the NFL odds board and second road game in four weeks for Teddy Bridgewater amounts to a brutal start on the season. Mile High is an unforgiving place and Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos don't pussyfoot around.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 0-4

 

Week 5: BYE

 

Week 6: vs. Kansas City (home), Sunday, Oct 18 at 1 PM
The Vikings come off a week 5 Bye and welcome Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs, who finished 9-7 last season and narrowly missed the postseason. At the risk of being repetitive: it's another tough matchup. Chiefs may be more fallible on the road than at home, which presents a small chance the Vikings could eke out the victory here. That said on the defensive side of the ball, the Chiefs have the edge. They were also the league's second best scoring defense last year.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 0-5

 

Week 7: vs. Detroit (road), Sunday, Oct 25 at 1 PM
Last season, the Lions swept the series with the Vikings winning 17-3 at home and 16-14 on the road. The Lions will have the advantage of a third straight home game when the Vikings roll into town. Advantage Lions all the way.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 0-6

 

Week 8: vs. Chicago (road), Sunday, Nov 1 at 1 PM
The Bears were rather underwhelming in 2014. New head coach John Fox has his work cut out to fashion Jay Cutler into a reliable quarterback and improve the Bears overall. Too many question marks hang over the Bears that the Vikings could take advantage on the road. They haven't enjoyed much success at Soldier Field in recent seasons, including last year's 21-13 loss. That said they closed the season on a 13-9 win over Chicago and could look to extend the winning streak to two in a row over their divisional rivals.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 1-6 
      

 

Week 9: vs. St. Louis (home), Sunday, Nov 8 at 1 PM
The St. Louis Rams descend on the Minnesota Vikings in week 9 NFL betting. Vikings routed the Rams on the road in week 1 last season 34-6, but it was Matt Cassel that was calling the shots for the Vikings and backup Shaun Hill leading the Rams. This time around it figures to be a whole different matchup with Nick Foles taking on Teddy Bridgewater. Home advantage will make the Vikings competitive, but the much-improved Rams don't figure to be pushovers this time around.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 1-7

 

Week 10: vs. Oakland (road), Sunday, Nov 15 at 4:05 PM
Every NFL panel figures the Oakland Raiders will be a much better team this season. That said they have an even tougher NFL schedule than the Vikings do this season and by week 10 NFL betting, it'll be interesting to see where they stand. Both teams are in rebuild mode, which levels the playing field. In such instances, it's smarter to back the home team on your NFL picks but we'd rather trust Teddy Bridgewater than Derek Carr right now.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 2-7

 

Week 11: vs. Green Bay (home), Sunday, Nov 22 at 1 PM
The Vikings welcome the NFC North champions Green Bay Packers in week 11 NFL betting. The Packers swept the series with a 42-10 win at Lambeau and a 24-21 win on the road. Expect another Packers sweep in this series.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 2-8

 

Week 12: vs. Atlanta (road), Sunday, Nov 29 at 1 PM
The Vikings hit the road to Atlanta in week 12 NFL betting. The Vikings went 2-6 SU on the road last season with wins over the Rams and the Buccaneers, both teams that finished under .500 last season. So did the Falcons with a 6-10 SU season. If the Falcons play as badly as they did last season, this is a road win the Vikings could sneak off with on the NFL odds board. They did beat the Falcons 41-28 at home in Bridgewater's first start. All in all, it's a tossup, really, because this time it's on the road. So don't go betting the farm on it because the Falcons can play at a fast click if they're hitting their strides and that would make the road win difficult for the developing Vikings.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 3-8

 

Week 13: vs. Seattle (home), Sunday, Dec 6 at 1 PM
Russell Wilson vs. Teddy Bridgewater? Next!

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 3-9

 

Week 14: vs. Arizona (road), Thursday, Dec 10 at 8:25 PM
The Vikings feature on Thursday Night Football in early December. Last year, they took on the Packers at Lambeau in Thursday Night Football betting only to suffer a 42-10 loss. That said Ponder was filling in for an injured Bridgewater. The Cardinals have a tough defense, a great coach and solid shot-calling it would seem from just about any quarterback they're forced to play; that is, if last year's carousel was any indication. This is a tough one for the Vikings to win, no less on the road against a side that figures to be making a playoff push at this moment, if not a divisional title challenge.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 3-10

 

Week 15: vs. Chicago (home), Sunday, Dec 20 at 1 PM
The Vikings welcome John Fox and the Bears to Minnesota in week 15 NFL betting. There are a lot of uncertainties yet about the Bears and how they'll play and look under John Fox. Home advantage, therefore, makes the Vikings the better NFL pick.

NFL Picks: Win
Record: 4-10

 

Week 16: vs. NY Giants (home), Sunday, Dec 27 at 1 PM
Eli Manning and the Giants take on Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings in week 16 NFL betting. The last two meetings between the Giants and Vikings have gone the way of the former 21-3 and 23-7. The Giants continue their solid form over the Vikings.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 4-11

 

Week 17: vs. Green Bay (road), Sunday, Jan 3 at 1 PM
The Vikings close the season at Lambeau. Rodgers went 8-0 SU at home last season with his Packers, including a 42-10 rout of the Vikings. More of the same is expected here as the Packers look to close the season on a high and the Vikings start planning their vacations and golf trips.

NFL Picks: Loss
Record: 4-12

 

NFL Betting Verdict
As you can see, by our brazen NFL predictions we have the Vikings taking a step back and finishing 4-12 on the season. That's not going to go down with the Vikings' faithful, obviously. But that's the way we see it.

We predicted a 7-9 SU season last year and we were right. This time around we're predicting the exact opposite. Firstly the 7.5 season win total seems too high in our opinion. Secondly, it's a terrifying schedule to negotiate even with the likes of Adrian Peterson staying on the roster. Take the UNDER 7.5 at -115 on your NFL picks.

comment here